VOL. 130 | NO. 191 | Thursday, October 1, 2015
Haslam Makes Forbes 400 List of Wealthiest Americans
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has broken into the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.
The new listing from the business magazine ranks Haslam at 327th on its list based on an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion from the Haslam family business – Pilot Flying J, the travel centers, travel plazas and truckstops that Haslam’s father founded in 1958.
Haslam has questioned the Forbes estimate of his wealth when he made the magazine’s list of the country’s wealthiest politicians, but he has declined to give his own specific estimate.
The list also include FedEx Corp. founder Fred Smith at No. 171 with an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion.
Jimmy Haslam, the governor’s brother, ranks 234th with an estimated net worth of $2.8 billion. Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera, whose estimated net worth is $2.2 billion, ranks 307th on the list.
– Bill Dries
Germantown’s Belmont Grill Gets New Ownership
The Belmont Grill at 9102 Poplar Pike in Germantown has a new owner.
Forest Hill Partners LLC, a new entity owned by Catherine Barzizza, Steve Barzizza, Chris Sadler and Triple Z Development Inc., bought the restaurant and has plans for it that include updating and refurbishing both inside and out.
Other changes are in the works, with the new owners saying they plan to reopen it under a new brand once the city of Germantown approves their proposed improvements. They’re also looking to hire kitchen and wait staff.
Catherine Barzizza will act as operating manager, Sadler will oversee the physical operations of the restaurant and Steve Barzizza will oversee promotional activities as well as entertainment programming.
The transaction was facilitated by Gene Barzizza, president of Triple Z Development Inc. He’ll help in the organization of the new entity through the development of the new brand.
Gene Barzizza was a partner in Southwestern Beverage Distributing for more than 30 years.
– Andy Meek
Memphis College Prep Pulls $1.4M Permit for New School
The building previously known as Dunn Avenue Elementary is getting ready for its first group of students since 2013, according to several permits and deeds recently filed by Memphis College Preparatory School Inc.
Metro Construction LLC applied Sept. 30 for a $1.4 million building permit for a school renovation to the 333,669-square-foot property at 1500 Dunn Ave.
On Aug. 27, Memphis College Prep signed on to a $2.1 million construction promissory note with Renasant Bank.
The Shelby County Board of Education transferred the school to Memphis College Prep for $660,000, according to a quitclaim deed filed Aug. 28. The terms of the sale are “as is,” meaning Shelby County Schools will make no improvements to the property.
The 1950s-era property in South Memphis closed as a public school in 2006. It was most recently leased by City University School of Liberal Arts, a charter school that moved its operations to Whitehaven after purchasing the old Bishop Byrne High property.
– Madeline Faber
Jones Re-Elected Board Chair For Shelby County Schools
Teresa Jones was elected Tuesday, Sept. 29, to a second one-year term as chairwoman of the Shelby County Schools board. She had no opposition.
Shante Knox Avant was elected board vice chairman for the next year, also running unopposed.
The school board also approved accepting a $10 million grant over three years from Teacher Town Memphis Inc. for the school system’s Innovation Zone schools.
The I-Zone schools are among the bottom 5 percent statewide in terms of student achievement.
They are the school system’s companion to the state-run Achievement District Schools that also target schools in the bottom 5 percent.
The Teacher Town funding is to be used for a support team within the schools as well as an extended school day and for teacher professional development and retention programs.
Teacher Town is a recently chartered nonprofit funded by private and philanthropic donors.
The school board approved Tuesday a $304,270 contract with Barnes and Brower Inc. for the demolition of Orleans Elementary School. The school, at 1400 McMillan St., was closed two years ago.
– Bill Dries
Memphis Grizzlies Getting ‘Hard Knocks’ Treatment
The Memphis Grizzlies are going to get a little national recognition – before the season even starts.
NBA TV’s weeklong “NBA Real Training Camp” series will showcase the Grizzlies on Friday, Oct. 2, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The series, which began airing Tuesday while highlighting the Minnesota Timberwolves, also was to feature the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, Sept. 30, and the Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, Oct. 1.
The Grizzlies edition of the show – providing exclusive access during the team’s practice and including interviews with players, coaches and front office personnel – will air on NBA TV and be streamed live on NBA.com. Jared Greenberg will host the program from Santa Barbara, Calif., with NBA TV analyst and NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller.
The Grizzlies start their preseason schedule on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at FedExForum vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder. The regular season starts here Wednesday, Oct. 28, against the Cavs and LeBron James.
– Don Wade
Shelby County Commission Adopts New Procedure Rules
A year after taking each other to court, Shelby County commissioners have resolved with little debate a dispute over their rules of procedure.
The commission approved Monday, Sept. 28, new rules that require a two-thirds majority of the 13-member body to overrule the chairman.
The existing rules required only a simple majority, and the simple majority of mostly Democrats used it a year ago to challenge new chairman Justin Ford.
– Bill Dries